Water power: UK-based IWS offers solutions to rid bacteria from produce

Water Solutions

Photos courtesy of International Water Solutions

Meet International Water Solutions (IWS), one of the exhibitors at The London Produce Show 6-8 June: As the name suggests, they provide solutions for water and waste water needs, specifically focusing on developing environmentally friendly disinfection products for a wide range of industries. They service farming, livestock, oil and gas, drinking water, irrigation, among other sectors.

Over the years, IWS also has developed its own brand of biocidal water disinfection chemical called XZIOX®, a unique bacterial control solution for water treatment, based on high purity Chlorine Dioxide. Although this remains their star product, other innovations at IWS include Flowxcel, used to treat process and flowback waters in fracking operation; Pro-Oxide, which destroys harmful micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, algae and fungus; and Biomax, a powerful bactericide able to reduce and eliminate harmful pathogens.
 
To understand more about IWS and its products, Produce Business UK sat down with Terri-Ann Boyle, Business Development Coordinator of IWS, to find out more:
 
Could you start by giving a little history about the company. What was the idea behind it initially and how has it evolved over the years?

IWS is a UK water solutions provider, manufacturing unique antibacterial products for various industries. Through these products, we help our clients achieve the very highest standards in water treatment. IWS started 15 years ago in drinking water treatment and has evolved massively into agriculture over the past 9 years. We now have over 600 customers in the UK alone using our water treatment systems.

On high demand is our signature product XZIOX®, an advanced delivery system which generates a chlorine dioxide solution with a purity greater than 99.99 per cent. The active biocidal substance responsible for this is Chlorine Dioxide (CLo2), which is 10 times more powerful than chlorine and chlorine type disinfectants. By being a powerful algaecide, bactericide and fungicide, XZIOX® is able to reduce and eliminate harmful micro-organisms that affect water quality. 
 
So XZIOX® is one of your main products on offer today. What would you say is your main service in 2018?

IWS provides effective water treatment, along with constant onsite servicing. As part of the IWS package, customers receive a lifetime guarantee for all equipment, parts and labour and all ongoing service throughout the season. This also includes annual samples conducted by our UKAS accredit labs.
 
Could you explain a little bit about the state of water quality in 2018. What are some of the challenges that you see we are facing now?  

We believe that growers are now becoming more aware of how important clean water is for their crops, as well as the benefits it can bring to the produce. To that effect, IWS is always looking for ways to eliminate bacteria and increase crop productivity.

Specifically regarding the produce industry, your product BIOMAX® RTU (ready to use) is described as an eco-friendly solution used in the fruit and vegetable industries to help improve protection against diseases such as Downy Mildew, Phytophthora, Botrytis, Scab and Canker. How would you say this product differs from your competitors?

Unlike other products out there in the market used for protection against diseases, BIOMAX® RTU is not a pesticide. BIOMAX® RTU works by treating the water that is being used to spray. It works as an adjuvant, which in turn, helps current pesticides work more efficiently. This is largely due to the fact that BIOMAX® RTU has done the hard work first.

The primary function of BIOMAX® RTU is bacterial control within the water source,  along with keeping the spray tank free from bacteria and blocked nozzles. It eradicates bacteria within the water, which in turn, improves the performance of existing pesticides, fungicides etc.

To cater to our clients’ varying needs, we have also developed BIOMAX® RTU in different sizes – available as 1, 10 and 20 litre kits to match different spray tank sizes. 

What are the factors most affecting this market at the moment? Does being based in the UK help or hinder your international reach at the moment?

IWS manufactures all products and equipment in the UK. We have offices in the Middle East, and distributors all over Europe. The UK team has supported our international distributors at various exhibitions and conferences all over the globe, and we feel that being a UK-based company has had a positive effect in the international markets. For example, in December of last year, we were invited to address over 250 employees and contractors at Petronas in Malaysia on the benefits of XZIOX®.

Let’s talk about IWS product development. What new products have been launched recently? Where does the demand come from? 

IWS manufactures all equipment and products here in the UK. Most new products launched are at the request of our current customers. They are actually the ones who are informing us of different applications and suggesting to us ways they would like to use the products and systems. IWS then creates bespoke applications based on these requests and based on how the market demand changes.

One example of this is our constant dosing water treatment unit. We have recently expanded these units to treat up to 200mc per hour, as well as installed these onto trailers so that they can be used out in the fields. Many bespoke items also can be added to any of the IWS systems to ensure site productivity. These include the following categories: no manual mixing, automatic dosing, water usage remote monitoring, chemical usage remote monitoring, PH remote monitoring, residual monitored, temperature remote monitoring, alarm alert on any device, data logging from any device, guaranteed for life on parts and labour, no need to switch of when vaccinating, regular servicing and monitoring by qualified IWS engineers.
 
You currently distribute in various countries around the world: UAE, Malaysia, Romania. How did these distribution points come about? Where are your main distribution points now?  Has there been any talk to expand this?

Many of our distributors have come on board after meeting IWS at trade shows, hearing what the product is capable of and wanting to expand this in different markets worldwide. We have just set up a large distribution contract with International Concepts Ltd. in Minnesota, which ordered a container of XZIOX® for the treatment of Legionella’s disease in schools.

Your website claims that IWS is one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly solutions available in the world today. Could you elaborate on this?

Yes. All our products have the following accreditations: The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), The Public Health and Safety Organization (NSF), Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). These are all aligned with environmental practises.

Would your products include desalination in the future?

IWS’ main focus is to eliminate bacteria and biofilm within water, however we are always open to new opportunities and trials with XZIOX®.

Where is the future of water solutions?

We are now looking to expand even more in the UK agriculture market. Internationally,  we are expanding in drinking water, and the oil and gas industry. We are also committed to research and development in all industries. 

Finally, let’s talk about the London Produce Show. What do you expect from the show? What can people expect from you?

This is the first time we have exhibited at the London Produce Show. Many of our current customers are exhibiting at the show. Since we bring a real niche product to the event, we are looking forward to using this opportunity to expand our UK and international opportunities. We have great offers on the day for new and existing customers, so our stand is definitely not one to be missed.

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